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Comment Re:Courtesy? (Score 1) 309

it was a dick move to destroy the drone without simply talking to the operator first.

It was a dick move for them to fly the drone over private property without simply talking to the property owner first. The drone operators were the first to fail to extend a simple courtesy. I'm not at all surprised nor sympathetic that their lack of courtesy was returned in kind.

If she had a problem with operating a drone in the area, she could have told them so.

The drone operators were the instigator. They took the first action which precipitated the incident (flew the drone over her property). The onus was on them to ask/inform her first. Not for her to ask them to leave first.

C'mon people. Talk to each other. It's called being a good neighbor. If I'm going to take photos of private property, despite the law giving me the right to do it, I will still ask the property owner as a courtesy. Yes there's a chance the property owner might be a jerk and refuse. But guess what - there are about a hundred million property owners in the U.S. Just move on and find a different property which suits your needs and ask again. Just because you have the legal right doesn't mean you have to exercise that right there if you can just as easily exercise it elsewhere where it doesn't piss somebody else off. Most of the time the property owner is eager to talk, and I learn some interesting things about the property. And they learn some interesting things about photography.

Comment Re:Rich vs richer (Score 1) 42

This is a big problem with the EU. It tries to be a monetary union, even to the point of using the same currency among member nations. But it leaves fiscal policy within a country up to that country. This EU / Irish business tax dichotomy is a consequence, but a relatively minor one. The whole fiasco with Greece was a bigger consequence (a member country setting government policies which would normally devalue its currency, but because the currency is shared it does not devalue as much as it should, essentially allowing that one country to "steal" from the other members).

Fiscal policy needs to be tied to a currency. If the EU wants to have one currency, it needs to have one fiscal (including tax) policy. If it wants to let each member set its own fiscal policy, each member needs its own currency. What they're currently doing is an interesting experiment in cooperative economics, but it's a bit like trying to play a video game where a dozen people each have a joystick and the average input of all their joysticks is the command sent to the game.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 339

RAID is not a backup, unless it has a snapshot feature. 2 TB is a pittance. I've got 7 TB on a 4x4 TB ZFS raid-z volume (12 TB usable), and my setup is not really that big. It's set up with FreeNAS, which supports ZFS (redundancy like RAID, plus file integrity checks, plus snapshots). The snapshots allow you to roll back to previous version of files, thus covering the weakness of RAID which makes it not-a-backup.

If most of the 2 TB is photos, you've got two cheap cloud storage options as a second backup (in case your house burns down taking your NAS with it). Google Photos is free and allows unlimited storage of photos up to 2048x2048 resolution (and 1080p videos up to 15 min, might have been reduced to 5 min). Amazon Prime comes with unlimited cloud storage of photos of any resolution.

Comment Re:You have no rights when applying for entry to a (Score 2) 218

U.S. Constitutional rights are limited to everyone (citizens, foreigners, illegals) in certain U.S. territories. When you're trying to enter the U.S. and are held up at Customs and Immigration, you are not yet considered to be on U.S. soil, so you do not enjoy the protection of U.S. Constitutional rights. This is precisely why Bush put a POW prison camp in Guantanamo Bay. While Guantanamo is controlled by the U.S., it is Cuban territory. And thus prisoners there would not be protected by the U.S. Constitution. (At least until Boumediene v. Bush which decided since the U.S. maintained "de facto sovereignty" over the base, it could be considered U.S. territory.)

Whether U.S. citizens enjoy U.S. Constitutional protections when abroad is an unsettled matter too. The recent drone killings of U.S. citizens fighting for ISIS abroad were done under the presumption that the answer is "no". They are not entitled to due process guaranteed by the 5th and 14th Amendments. If you extend that reasoning (not saying this is correct, just saying if you extend that reasoning), then U.S. citizens trying to re-enter the U.S. do not enjoy Constitutional protection until after they have been admitted.

That's why DHS trying to extend this territorial exclusion to a 100 mile bubble around U.S. entry points (borders and international airports) was so ridiculous and troubling. They were basically trying to make it so anyone within 100 miles of the U.S. border or an international airport did not have Constitutional protection.

Comment Re:I don't normally swear online (Score 1) 381

Invented in the mid 1970s, any patent on it expired in the mid 90s at the latest

Which brings us right back to the FDA only having approved one such product. The patent (and its expiration) is mostly irrelevant. Given that an EpiPen is frequently used in a life-or-death situation, no other manufacturer wants to assume the product liability associated with such a device unless the can shield themselves with the "FDA-approved" label. And the FDA is glacially slow at approving these things; so slow that manufacturers probably figure it's not worth the investment to even bother trying. Thus leaving one company with a government-granted monopoly (just like cable Internet service, whee).

Comment Tit for tat (Score 4, Insightful) 83

It's not sour grapes, it's tit for tat. Treating the artist the same way they're treating you. The artist is telling Spotify that they're not that important to him, so they'll be giving Apple or Tidal an exclusive. Spotify is returning the favor and telling the artist he is not as important to them either, and not promoting him as highly.

Please note that tit for that is one of the best strategies in the Prisoner's Dilemma. Consistently treating others the way they treat you is one of the best ways to get others to treat you better (or as fair as possible given that perfect fairness is impossible).

If the artist relents and gives up the exclusive, but Spotify continues not promoting him, then it's sour grapes, or revenge.

Comment Re:Why haven't we done Voyager 3 and 4? (Score 2) 61

For an idea of how much that alignment helped, here's the crazy path Pioneer 11 took from Jupiter to Saturn without the benefit of alignment. Instead of flying from Jupiter's orbit to Saturn's orbit, it had to fly almost to the opposite side of the solar system to intercept Saturn. Nearly 5 years, compared to approx 2 years for Voyagers 1/2.

Original paper describing the travel benefits of the alignment.

Comment The difference isn't that big (Score 4, Insightful) 145

It's important to understand that while we benchmark storage in MB/s, those units are actually the inverse of how we perceive their speed - wait time. Wait time would be sec/GB. To see what the consequences of this are, imagine loading up a game involves reading 1 GB of data, and for simplicity imagine you can read that 1 GB at max speed.

33 MB/s = 30 sec - old IDE HDD
66 MB/s = 15 sec - newer IDE HDD
125 MB/s = 8 sec - SATA HDD
250 MB/s = 4 sec - SATA2 SSD
500 MB/s = 2 sec - SATA3 SSD
1000 MB/s = 1 sec - early PCIe SSDs
2000 MB/s = 0.5 sec - newer PCIe SSDs

Notice how every time MB/s doubles, wait time is only cut in half. This means perceive speed increases are the inverse of MB/s, and thus not linear in terms of MB/s. The difference between SATA and SATA3 (125 MB/s and 500 MB/s) is "only" 375 MB/s. While the difference between SATA3 and newer PCIe drives is a whopping 1500 MB/s. But that doesn't mean that upgrading from SATA3 to a newer PCIe SSD will feel 4x faster than upgrading from a HDD to a SATA3 SSD felt.

The reduction in wait time going from the SATA HDD to a SATA3 SSD was 8 sec vs 2 sec - a 6 sec reduction. But the reduction in wait time going from SATA3 to newer PCIe is only 2 sec vs 0.5 sec - a 1.5 sec reduction. So upgrading from a SATA3 SSD to a newer PCIe SSD will only give you 1/4 the perceived speed increase you got when you upgraded from a HDD to a SSD. Not 4x. Compared to a SATA HDD, a SATA3 SSD gives you 80% the wait time reduction of the newest PCIe SSDs (6 sec vs 7.5 sec).

In other words, for the typical amounts of data we need to read off of storage, SATA3 SSDs have already given us most of the speed benefit we can expect by making our storage media faster. (The same problem plagues cars and using MPG to measure fuel efficiency. MPG is actually the inverse of fuel efficiency. It's the metric you want to use if you have a fixed amount of fuel and need to know how far you can travel, like if you're in a boat. The vast majority of people's driving is the other way around - they need to travel a fixed distance, and want to do it using as little fuel as possible - which is GPM. So the biggest fuel savings actually comes from making fuel hogs like tractor trailers, buses, and SUVs more efficient, not from econoboxes like the Prius. Despite how big 50 MPG sounds, going from 25 MPG to 50 MPG actually only represents half the fuel saved of going from 12.5 MPG to 25 MPG.. The rest of the world measures fuel efficiency in liters per 100 km for this reason - equivalent to GPM.)

Comment Don't dismiss WORM media yet (Score 2) 379

Optical media is WORM - write once, read many. This makes it secure against tampering after it's been written, so something like a ransomware virus can't destroy your backup even if it's still online. You also can't do something stupid like find that a file you need has become corrupted, plug in your backup drive, and accidentally copy the corrupt file over your backup instead of the other way around (I've done that).

I've been saying for 20+ years that our random access storage media like HDDs and flash memory needs a physical write-protect switch. It would solve so many problems. A significant percentage of the computer support customers I get are to recover media which has become unreadable because they plugged it into a device to watch a movie or copy a few files, and when they unplugged it (without first unmounting) the device screwed up the partition table or FAT making it unreadable. "All my kids' baby photos are on there and my wife will kill me if I can't get them back."

And if OSes were designed to run off read-only media (write temp files and log files elsewhere), they'd essentially be invulnerable to rooting. A buffer overflow vulnerability might allow an attacker to execute an arbitrary command, but they wouldn't be able to leverage it to modify the system so they have root access after a reboot. Data breaches wouldn't be impossible, but they'd be much, much harder.

But aside from write-protect switches on SD cards and WORM media, everyone seems to overlook the usefulness of being able to store data as read-only.

Optical media is also dirt cheap. SSDs/Flash memory is around 30 cents/GB. HDDs around 10 cents/GB. BD-Rs are around 2 cents/GB and if they follow the same pattern as CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, will eventually settle at around 0.8 cents/GB.

Comment Re:massive parallel processing=limited application (Score 1) 114

Also, there is caching, and also, some loads are heavy on longish FPU operations.

So... it doesn't quite work out that way. Also, multicore designs can have separate memory.

One example of multicore design that's both interesting and functional are the various vector processor graphics cores. Lots of em in there; and they get to do a lot of useful work you couldn't really do any other way with similar clock speeds and process tech.

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